Higher Basket, Tall Order

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Sunday's Tacoma News Tribune says that the "11-foot rim eliminates dunks, puts emphasis on fundamentals..."

Tom Newell took a step forward in spreading his gospel of a return to basketball fundamentals Saturday afternoon at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

Newell - a former NBA assistant and son of former big-man coach Pete Newell - organized a basketball exhibition game played with 11-foot rims by current and former college players to focus on what Newell considers an erosion of fundamentals.

He believes the modern emphasis on dunking and outside shooting has resulted in basketball straying from the way the game's inventor, James Naismith, intended it to be.

"We are in a crisis situation in North America right now with basketball," Newell said. "It's not a fun game to watch, I don't think. ... I really think television has diluted the value of the game."

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Newell hopes the exhibition sparks renewed interest in taking a serious look at raising the hoops.

Seattle Pacific graduate and Enumclaw native Ton Binetti said it's still basketball.

"I think as a whole the game of basketball is an athletic game, and it's still going to favor the more athletic player," Binetti said. "But I think at 11 feet it's a much more skilled game, especially for the big men."

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